How Far In Advance Do You Need To Take Malaria Pills?

Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Malarial symptoms are intermittent fever, headache, chills, shivers, heavy sweating, nausea, vomiting, and pain in muscles and joints. If you are planning to travel to malarial affected endemic areas, you should take some antimalarial drugs along with other measures such as insect repellant, long sleeves, long pants, and insecticide-treated bed nets. A 100% protection from malaria cannot be achieved by any antimalarial drug.

How Far In Advance Do You Need To Take Malaria Pills?

How Far In Advance Do You Need To Take Malaria Pills?

Antimalarial drugs can be used as preventive medicine against malaria. The action of these medicines varies from country to country according to geographical malarial prevalence and drug resistance. Although, there is no antimalarial drug till today that can prevent malaria hundred percent. If you want to travel to malaria-affected areas, you should take these drugs as prophylaxis along with preventive measures like insect repellents, full covered clothing, and mosquito net. The drug should be prescribed by your physician based on your medical history, your previous prescribed medicines and any allergy related to the specific drug.

The antimalarial drugs that are recommended for prophylaxis are following-

Atovaquone

The right time to consume and doses:

This drug can be consumed as last-minute medicine for short trips. You can start it 1 or 2 days before the journey. You have to take it daily up to 7 days after the tour to malaria-affected regions. It is perfectly safe for children with no known side effects.

Contradiction: Pregnant women and lactating women should avoid this drug. It is not recommended for patients with renal impairment.

Chloroquine

The right time to consume and doses:

This is drug is taken once in a week, you can opt for this drug for long trips to malaria-affected areas. It is also safe in pregnancy in all trimesters. One who is already taking hydroxychloroquine for rheumatic diseases does not require chloroquine. You have to continue it for 4 weeks after your trip.

Contradiction: You cannot use it when you travel to chloroquine and mefloquine resistant areas. It may result in psoriasis as a side effect.

Doxycycline

The right time to consume and doses-

This drug can be taken as a last-minute option before traveling to malaria transmitted areas. It is consumed daily. You have to start 1 or 2 days before the trip up to 4 weeks after the trip.If you are already consuming this drug for treatment of acne and other infections, you don’t have to consume additional dose.

Contradiction: It is not recommended for pregnant women and children under 8 years.

Mefloquine

The right time to consume and doses:

It is good medicine for long trips to endemic areas of malaria and is taken once in a week. It is safe for pregnant women. You have to start taking this medicine two weeks before the trip up to 4 weeks after the trip.

Contradiction: Mefloquine is not be recommended for last minute travelers, the patient suffering from few psychiatric diseases, seizure, and cardiac problems. It is ineffective in mefloquine resistant areas.

Primaquine

The right time to consume and doses:

It is a good choice for prevention of malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax for short trips. It can be chosen as last-minute drug and you have to start 1 or 2 days prior the trip to 7 days after the trip as a daily medicine.

Contradiction: It is not recommended for pregnant and lactating mother and patients with glucose-6-phosphatase deficiency.

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